Ancient Indonesian manuscripts in digital format

A literature foundation in Surakarta has announced the digitizing a quarter of the 6,000 ancient manuscripts and books in their possession – with the entire collection to be completed by the end of the year. The founder of this initiative, John Paterson, was in the news last week when he said that he was returning the scripts in his possession to the city of Solo for safekeeping. I certainly hope that such a digitalised collection will be made open access for everyone to access and study.

Thousands of Ancient Scripts Digitalized
Tempo Interaktif, 27 May 2009

The literature foundation in Surakarta has successfully digitalized 1,600 of 6,000 of their total collection of ancient scripts and books.

The foundation founder, John Paterson, said he expected that by end of this year, all of the collection can be digitalized and so can be presented to the Surakarta City Government.

“The digitalizing process and language changing is the hard part,” said Paterson, on Tuesday (26/5).

This is because some books are in a poor condition as these is an old collection, so the foundation has had to be careful in carrying out the digitalization process properly, not to mention its limited resources.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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